Thursday, April 05, 2012
Today’s Topic: Victory in Death
Today’s Text: 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (NIV) The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Death: scary or sacred?
For the unsaved, unrepentant person living in the center of self, it is unbearably scary. So much so that they avoid even the thought of it at all cost. Everything they do is designed to prolong life and its enjoyment. Diet, exercise, recreation – all based on the premise that life is what it is today, and is to be enjoyed for as long as possible. Every opportunity to invest in the latest medical technology, cosmetic enhancement, or herbal supplement is embraced in the hope that lasting fulfillment can be achieved.
In contrast, for the born again follower of Jesus Christ, death is sacred. Death has no sting for those who are in Christ. Sin, the sting of death, has been removed through the blood of Jesus Christ shed on Calvary. The law, which gives sin its life and power, has been abolished, nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:13-15). Death is nothing more than the removal of an obsolete and broken cover from the book of our lives so that a new and eternal cover can be put in place, bound to the Author forever by the blood of Jesus.
When Jesus died on the cross as the once-for-all sacrifice for the sin of mankind, He paid for every transgression that separated all of us from God. Christ became our sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
His death was horrifying yet glorifying. They mocked and railed on him and smote him, they scourged and crucified him. He was executed by a corrupt church, a timid politician, and a fickle proletariat led by professional agitators. His executioners made vulgar jokes about him, called him filthy names, taunted him, smacked him in the face, flogged him with the cat, and hanged him on the common gibbet—a bloody, dusty, sweaty, and sordid business. (Dorothy Sayers)
However, the death of Jesus on the cross glorified the Father. It brought Christ glory. His death provides for our glorification.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “The cross of Christ is Christ’s glory. Man seeks to win his glory by the sacrifice of others—Christ by the sacrifice of himself. Men seek to get crowns of gold—he sought a crown of thorns. Men think that glory lies in being exalted over others—Christ thought that his glory did lie in becoming “a worm and no man,” a scoff and reproach among all that beheld him. He stooped when he conquered; and he counted that the glory lay as much in the stooping as in the conquest.”
Christ became the worst of us so that we might become the perfection of God. Such hope escapes most. They have chosen to reject the eternal for the pursuit of the temporal. They have decided that exaltation is self-earned and self-proclaimed, rather than God-given through total abasement. Here’s a play on words for you – we are scared of a basement, especially a dark one. Yet it is in the darkness of absolute humility (abasement) that the Light of Jesus Christ shines life into our very soul. It is in death to self that life from God is granted.
Death has no power over those who are in Christ. There is no fear of it, for it is the gateway to eternity with the Savior. Death is not the culmination of a life of defeat, but rather the continuation of a life of victory. Thanks be to God who gives us the victory over death through our Lord Jesus Christ.